Saturday, April 4, 2015

You're My Boss're_My_Boss

When her infamous breakdown video at the airport goes viral, Marketing Head Georgina (Toni Gonzaga) sets out to salvage what is left of her reputation, whatever the cost. In her last ditch attempt to seal a critical deal with an important client, she makes up for the absence of the company president by forcing his assistant, Pong (Coco Martin), to pretend to be him, spinning an intricate web of lies that will probably come back to haunt them later on. As the two of them switch roles, what starts off as mutual hatred slowly turns into admiration, but their blossoming love affair does not come without obstacles. She is still hung up on her ex-obsession, and when he comes back for a second shot, she is forced to choose between something that she has always wanted but never had and something relatively new yet real enough to be called love.

To feature Batanes is a good decision, although it is not that crucial to the plot and could have been replaced by any other Philippine province. Quoting Pong, “Batanes should be experienced, not Googled.” True enough, the gorgeous drone footage and the islands’ natural charm do steal the spotlight from time to time. For a destination that remains inaccessible to most domestic tourists due to the prohibitive costs of airfare going there, both film and province end up benefiting by promoting each other.

Martin tries his best at comedy, but the attempt is too obvious that it is cringe worthy most of the time. What saves him is his reputation as a matinee idol whom everyone will love no matter what he does. There is chemistry between him and Gonzaga, but not enough rapport is built for you to actually ship them, which makes the ending rather contrived, not to mention predictable. In any case, a role outside one’s comfort zone is never detrimental to the growth of an actor, and Martin is not an exception to that rule.

This is Gonzaga’s genre, and by now she already knows the ins and outs so well that she can do this with her eyes closed. What she does in this movie, however, is interesting, because she does a 180. Her roles have always required her to be that insufferable ball of sunshine/fag hag that has been her stereotype for every box office success that she’s had over the years. Here, she is the embodiment of the vile, bitter boss that everyone loves to hate. And yes, she is believable indeed, but does not come off as one-dimensional.

In defense of criticisms regarding Georgina’s hang-ups with regards to the Gino character, it is indeed harder to move on from something that you never had, especially if it is something or someone that has always been available for you but you end up taking for granted. As they say, you don’t miss the water until it’s gone, and letting go is hard enough because there really is nothing tangible to hold onto in the first place. In the end, you are just holding on to something that really never was, and the what-if scenario will always be difficult to brush off.

Lest we forget, this is a Star Cinema romantic comedy, which means that it will always be predictable. Yes, there is a chase scene in the end. Yes, the two each have a kilometric monologue so saccharine and cliché that it makes you scratch your head. But the film has its brilliant moments that makes it memorable, mostly those scenes that dissect Georgina as a person, particularly the sing-along session in the van and the trip to the eatery that immediately follows it.

There is always this fascination when it comes to people who are just so repugnant for their own good, perhaps because there is this lingering thought in everyone’s minds that no person could be that naturally obnoxious. That’s what makes Georgina stand out as a character, because the film gives you the chance to discover her story, peeling off her layers one by one to let you see that every person has a story to tell and, thus, deserves the benefit of a doubt.

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